Tonight's Dinner: Stuffed Chicken with Polenta

Feb 1, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Sometimes it's difficult to come up with a new way to make chicken breasts for dinner; slicing a little pocket in the middle and stuffing them will make everyone smile and beg for more.

Chicken breasts are one of those proteins that are easy to prepare and get on the table in a short amount of time. But how many times can you sprinkle it with spices, bake it, and serve it with rice or vegetables? What if you put the vegetables inside the chicken? You can still get the chicken on the table in a short amount of time, but by stuffing the breasts, your taste buds will dance in delight as they experience a whole new world of flavors.

Stuffed Chicken with Polenta


  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3-ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 slices fontina cheese
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat; add onion, mushrooms, and garlic and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes; add spinach and a dash of salt and pepper, and cook until spinach is slightly wilted, another 2 minutes; transfer spinach mixture to a small bowl and put aside.
  3. Cut chicken breasts from the side, stopping 3/4 way through; unfold, lay flat, and pound with a mallet until they're 1/2-inch thick.
  4. In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat and cook chicken in batches until brown on one side, about 4 minutes; transfer chicken, uncooked side up, to a cutting board; scoop 1/4 of spinach mixture onto half of each breast, then top with slice of cheese; fold the chicken over the filling like a taco and press to close.
  5. Return the chicken to the skillet and bake in oven until cooked through and cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. While chicken cooks, prepare polenta as directed on the package; add butter; divide polenta among 4 plates, top each with a chicken breast and serve.